Thursday, September 22, 2011

OK OK, I'll do it - but I shall stand firm for the wainscotting

You know how tiresome even our best friends can be, when they know some-thing before we do. Ever since our giving up riding for mah jongg, they've been upon me to redo the tackroom - Bring it, Ingrid implores, at least to the 90s. Mm, I don't know that I'll go that far, but I do see the point of a D ring looped to one's Légion rosette, should a stray bridle surface on a South Wind. Then the lanyards from summer camp, nos-talgically adapted for coasters, could also be fetched into the renovation. And with the saddles, of course, we shall have belts for simply days. It's not as though the project were entirely silly ..

You'd think, I know, Why not auction off the saddles - a few of them, rather decent - for some equine charity? But the equine charities are into us all for enough as it is. Besides, one is somewhat sentimental about who rode where and how and when; and you know, it's just going to be some parvenu software guru who uses sharp practice to pay not a penny more than necessary to outbid our loyal farrier. I'd end up paying for them all again, you see; and one can never have too many belts these days. I can scarcely forgive myself for not making provision for chauffeur, who had to improvise with neckwear when the cleaners lost his uniform.

I think the renovation will afford us all some fun, but I have had to make it known, that upon Aunt Dinny's wainscotting I shall have to stand implacably firm. I happen to know that behind the 3rd and 5th panels from the bell tower window, she laid up her pre-war magnums of St Émilion; and the risk of their movement at this stately phase of their progress is quite insupportable, decanting excepted, of course. 

It's why I happened to accept the place, and certainly she was entitled to one's promise to adopt this house-hold tradition. Hence the chauffeur's new duties (even uncravated, now), are to guard this quaint corner of her quite merrily distributed cellar, pending bringing in those wicked paintergoddies of Ivan's, for a yummy trompe l'oeil from Puccini.

I do worry, but only a little, that someone is going to want me to re-do the floors. How shall I be able to confess, that I just did; and I know where my box of crayons is kept, 2nd plank in from the Cheval Blanc.

The gentlemen's apartments, too, must remain as they are. What was good enough for me, on summer visits to the dear and knowing lady who became my Aunt, is certainly fine enough to see me out. And how else, may I ask, should the succession to this pleasant patch of peace be settled, if not by the way it came to me?

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